I am driven to distraction or rather, very distracted but driven, in my task to complete one simple additional salad for supper to stave off starvation for another 24 hours with the hungry hoards.
It is a busy time of the day, the time of day where each child is occupied to allow me one on one time with my son for his daily "cooking lesson." Meanwhile, Nonna has her own very important agenda. Nonna’s agenda consists of ensuring that everyone is well fed, that the Tortoise is well fed, the cat and the dog, although in no particular order of priority.
My son pokes a tomato with the point of a kitchen knife, ineffectually, whilst I hack up a bunch of coriander.
“Wot about dis one den?” she asks waving the tortoise bowl in front of my nose. I’m tempted to shout but resist as she is without her hearing aid. My precious store of tomatoes is already depleted due to forgetful, elderly, diabetic thieves. Now yet another is to be sacrificed to the tortoise. This particular tomato is roughly equivalent to half Fred’s entire body weight, but there’s no point in arguing, or rather, it is too time consuming and therefore futile.
“You tink eee will like it?”
“Eee is a vegetarian yes?”
“Wot do you tink ee likes best?”
“Yes. He loves grapes.”
“Ow you know dat den?”
“He told me at the pet shop.”
“I knew ee could squeak but I didn’t know eee could talk.”
“!.....the tortoise didn’t tell me, the shop assistant told me……the shop assistant in the pet shop………….you’re teasing me right?” She beams back at me over her shoulder.
7 hours ago